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Gaming Addiction In Kids: Is Your Child Addicted To Gaming? Here Are The Harmful Effects You Must Know

Playing video games might sound fun but is it a healthy practice? Most kids today are addicted to gaming and spend their maximum hours on mobile phones playing games. There are various harmful hazards associated with gaming associated.

Gaming Addiction In Kids: Is Your Child Addicted To Gaming? Here Are The Harmful Effects You Must Know

Gaming addiction can increase the risk of obesity

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Physical activities should be an essential part of kids' schedule
  2. Set a restricted time for gaming for your kids
  3. Most games today are loaded with violent graphics

Kids today are addicted to gaming. Recently there are many games which have gained popularity and kids and even young adults are hooked to these games. Games on mobile phones or video games can never replace physical activities. Outdoors games help your kids move more and boost their physical as well as mental health. Use of screens for gaming for too long can affect both physical and mental health of the child. It can put them at a higher risk of obesity which is further related to many health risks. These games are also loaded with violent graphics which can also make behavioural changes in the child. Since, most kids love gaming you need to implement time restriction to not let it affect their health.

Also read: How Playing Video Games Can Harm Your Brain


Gaming addiction: The harmful effects you must know

Dr. Sameer Malhotra explains the adverse effects of gaming, "Long hours of playing strategic violent games, is not only associated with disturbed sleep-wake cycle, but also with stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system. The underlying release of adrenaline can negatively impact the heart. Addiction of such games leaves less time for physical exercise, relaxation, studies and other priorities of life, building up an indirect pressure of performance and stress due to non-performance in other fields. Some of the vulnerability factors include high sensation seeking, thrill-seeking trait, lack of impulse control, obsessive trait, stubbornness etc. Other contributing factors include a sedentary lifestyle, lack of prioritization, aimlessness, feeling of loneliness, negative home environment, parental neglect or over-concern and peer pressure. Biologically speaking such games trigger dopamine reward pathways in the brain and lead to a dependence potential."

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Gaming addiction can affect mental health of kids
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Fortnite: Is Your Child Obsessed With This Video Game; What You Should Know

What should you do?

Restricting your kids from digital gaming may not be an easy task. You do not have to completely ban gaming but time restriction can help. Casual gaming turning into addiction can be harmful in many ways. Here are some tips every parent must know-

  1. Set a schedule for your kids with restricted gaming time to avoid addiction
  2. Encourage your kids to spend more time in physical activities to promote their physical and mental health
  3. Spend more time with your kids throughout the day to keep your children occupied
  4. Do not allow the use of screens before bedtime

Also read: Video Games Affect Girls More Than Boys: Study

(Dr. Sameer Malhotra, Director, Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket)

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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